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Two Students in STEM Discuss How Computer Science Has Influenced Them

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Logan Parameter

Baylor University

What inspired to you to pursue computer science?

Growing up, I always had an interest in both computers and video games, so when I was changing my major during my first semester at Baylor, I took a great interest in computer science. I wanted to study computer science and become a game developer, and Baylor has a game development track within the computer science program, which made the major a perfect fit.

What’s the biggest misconception about computing jobs?

One of the biggest misconceptions that I had about computing jobs is that they all involve staring at a computer and programming for hours on end with little to no human interaction. However, I’ve learned from both my own experiences and hearing the experiences of my colleagues that there is a wide spectrum of computing jobs, all with their own unique roles and responsibilities. There is a job in computing for individuals of all different personalities and interests, and you never have to feel stuck doing the same thing day after day.

What kind of job are you hoping to pursue after you graduate?

I hope to pursue a career in technical consulting after I graduate. I really enjoy the dynamic, ever-changing environment of consulting, and I will have to opportunity to continue learning new technologies even after I have left school.

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Negin Forouzesh

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

What is one piece of advice that you would give a female student unsure about pursuing computer science?

First and foremost, I believe that anyone can thrive in computer science regardless of their gender. If you are interested in this field, go for it! Although the number of females in computing areas is much fewer than males, you can take advantage of this gender gap and be employed by many companies that are willing to increase workplace diversity.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on so far and what was special about it?

I had the opportunity to work at the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine as an intern in the summer of 2018. In a productive collaboration with biologists, bioinformaticians and geneticists, we developed a comprehensive database for on-the-fly genetic variant annotation. This can be used to pinpoint subsets of functionally important genetic variants, which result in major diseases such as cancer.

What kind of job are you hoping to pursue after you graduate?

I would like to join a research center in the future, where I can employ my knowledge and skills in practical research projects. Particularly, I have found computational biophysics an appealing framework through which I can employ my learned skills to advance the process of drug discovery.

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